Lucas Tarrant was a frustrated singer, voice teacher and choral conductor searching for a way to spread his love of music and make it accessible to everyone. Driving down Roswell Road about five years ago, he saw the sign for Sandy Springs Music. He pulled in on a whim and asked if the store needed a voice teacher.
He was hired on the spot.
Cheryl Logan spent her career managing and owning businesses, but wanted to find a way to express herself artistically. While driving down Roswell Road one afternoon several years ago, she saw the sign for Sandy Springs Music and decided to quickly whip into the parking lot. She went in and asked about voice lessons.
She and Tarrant met and he started teaching her private lessons at her home.
“Our meeting was serendipitous,” Logan, 65, says.
The voice lessons were inspirational for both and the two eventually became best friends. In March 2018, during a voice lesson in Logan’s living room, Tarrant, 30, asked her if she wanted to started a community chorus. Without hesitation, she said yes.
They named the chorus North Atlanta Voices, designed a logo, got business cards, created a website, all from their new headquarters in Logan’s living room.
Of course, they would also need people to sing in the chorus in a metro Atlanta area where many choruses already existed. All of these choruses, though, required singers to audition.
“We needed a leg up so we focused on creating a non-auditioned chorus that was about music, but also about building community,” Tarrant said.
“We really love that part of what we are doing,” he said. “And I thrive on teaching people with no experience singing in a chorus. I wanted to make this really enjoyable to everyone.”
The duo recruited 20 people to sing in their first concert in 2018. Logan and Tarrant kept their mission alive through the COVID-19 pandemic by reaching out to more people who wanted to sing with a chorus. North Atlanta Voices became an official non-profit in 2020. Tarrant handles the artistic vision, Logan is in charge of the business side.
At the North Atlanta Voices spring concert in April at the Atlanta Jewish Academy — made possible with funding through a Sandy Springs Arts Foundation grant — there were nearly 50 sopranos, basses, altos and tenors on stage singing songs in English, Latin, Hebrew and Russian. Members range in age from 19 to their 80s. Two families are part of the group.
“The music Lucas chooses is not simple,” Logan said. “We’ve been exposed to several languages because of the songs he chooses and he is so good at teaching technique and making people feel so accomplished.”
On Aug. 8, North Atlanta Voices is holding an information session for more singers to join their group. The session will be held from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the chorus rehearsal space, the Atlanta Jewish Academy, at 5200 Northland Road.
The chorus continues its mission of being non-auditioned, and always will, Tarrant said.
“So many people want to sing, but not by themselves,” Tarrant said. “This is about singing for joy. We want to create a place for people to never have to sing alone if they don’t want to.
“The only prerequisite is a desire to sing,” he said.